Shield Bug


a Plataspidae bug, from Machakos, Kenya. Photo © by Michael Plagens

Observed at Machakos Kenya. May 2017. Length is about 3 mm. It was found feeding on growth Desert Date (Balanites aegyptiaca). For scale notice it is resting in the palm of my hand.

Shield bugs possess a hardened exoskeleton shell that forms a turtle-like barrier protecting the dorsum of the insect. This may be a defense against ants whereby the insect can pull itself tight to a substrate with its short legs. These are plant feeders that use piercing-sucking mouth parts to draw liquid sap and nutrient. This example was found in abundance on a Balanites, also known as Simple-thorned greenthorn.

Plataspidae -- a Shield Bug Family

More Information:

Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens. Page created 02 Oct. 2017.